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HUB-ASTRO | HubBucket Inc Asterophysics Department

What is Astrophysics?

Astrophysics is a science that employs the methods and principles of Physics, Chemistry, etc., in the study of Astronomical objects and phenomena.

The HubBucket Astrophysics Department is dedicated to exploring the Universe, pushing the boundaries of what is known of the Cosmos, and sharing its discoveries with the world. The HubBucket Astrophysics Division continues to expand our Human Species’ understanding of how the Universe began and evolved, how it works, and whether there are places beyond Earth where life might thrive. By working together with collaborators and academic partners from all over the world, HubBucket Astrophysics researchers are making progress towards addressing these tantalizing scientific goals with leading-edge technologies and groundbreaking science.

How big is the Universe? How did the Universe start and what is its fate? What's out there in deep space? What are the stars and galaxies made of? What makes them shine? How many planets orbit other stars, and what are their properties? These fundamental questions have occupied peoples' thoughts for generations in an attempt to uncover the mysteries of the Universe. Remarkable discoveries have been made in Astrophysics in recent time ranging from the Big Bang and the early Universe, to the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) and its fluctuation spectrum, to measurements of the large-scale structure in the Universe, the existence of Dark Matter and Dark Energy, the discovery of Supermassive Black Holes, and the discovery of planets around other stars. These discoveries have provided some answers to these fundamental questions. Among others, the data revealed a strange Universe dominated by a yet mysterious Dark Energy (~70% by mass) that causes the expansion rate of the Universe to accelerate, followed by a yet undetected exotic (Non-Baryonic) Dark Matter particles (~25%), with only the remaining ~5% of the Universe made up by Normal Baryonic Matter (i.e., Stars, Galaxies, and Gas). New discoveries have also spurred new fundamental questions: What is the nature of the Dark Matter and the Dark Energy? How do planets form around stars? How does life form on planets (the new field of Astrobiology)? How do Supermassive Black Holes form?

Observations needed to probe the Universe and answer these questions are carried out mostly with Telescopes, not only the familiar ones sensitive to optical light rays, but also with instruments designed to receive radio waves, X-rays, and Gamma-rays. Within the Solar System, Astronomers use space probes. The vast amount of observational detail obtained with these techniques is then interpreted by means of the basic laws of Physics. Especially in recent decades, the new tools of Radio Telescopes on the ground and X-ray, Optical, and Ultraviolet Telescopes in Space have permitted us to make the startling discoveries about the heavens mentioned above.

In addition, we now know, for example, of dense stars that consist almost entirely of Neutrons, with the same amount of material as in the Sun compressed into a sphere only a few miles in diameter, with a resultant density of millions of tons packed into each cubic inch. We find even smaller, more massive, objects -- Black Holes whose gravitational attraction is so great that any light waves from the surface cannot escape but are attracted back.

We find that most Galaxies contain a Supermassive Black Hole, of many millions or even billions solar masses, at their cores. Gigantic explosions of stars within individual Galaxies. Supernovae and Gamma Ray Bursts (GRB) have been found to radiate as much light as billions of suns. Such explosions have been detected in systems as far out as nearly the edge of the accessible Universe, where stellar systems are moving away from us at close to the speed of light, and from which the light rays we now see were emitted billions of years ago when the Universe was much younger.

The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation, a 3K degree radiation that is a remnant of the hot Big Bang some 14 billion years ago -- has been measured in detail. This radiation is remarkably uniform. However, on top of this highly uniform distribution, the tiny fluctuations that provided the seeds for Galaxy and structure formation in the early Universe have been detected and carefully mapped, a discovery of great importance for understanding how the structure we see today formed. While such discoveries are fascinating in their own right, they cast light on the fundamental questions that people have been asking since the dawn of mankind about the hidden nature of our Universe.